Application for Planning Permission in Principle granted for Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm’s onshore components

Source: press release, 26 January 2023

Rendering of the Stiesdal Offshore Tetrasub
Rendering of the Stiesdal Offshore Tetrasub (illustration: Stiesdal Offshore)

Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm (PFOWF) has been granted planning permission in principle from the Highland Council for its onshore infrastructure.

This permission provides an “in principle” acceptance of the development and paves the way for the development of export cables and an onshore substation located near HMS Vulcan and Dounreay which will feed power from the wind farm into the existing grid network.

The announcement follows the Council’s North Planning Committee confirming in December 2022 that it raises no objection to PFOWF’s offshore application – this came as part of Marine Scotland’s consultation process. The project is targeting commencing construction at the end of 2023, with the wind farm fully operational by 2026.

Richard Copeland, Project Director, says, “We welcome the Highland Council’s decision to grant the onshore planning permission in principle for Pentland. The project will be the blueprint to advance the deployment of large-scale floating offshore wind in the UK and globally, so this a significant milestone for us as a project and for the industry generally.”

Copeland continues, “As the pipeline of floating offshore wind projects continues to grow, so will the need for a skilled green workforce. Pentland offers a prime opportunity to build this capacity by supporting the creation of up to 1,300 full time equivalent supply chain roles during construction and 85 during operation.”

“We also expect Pentland to deliver lifetime expenditure of GBP 419 million in the UK which is in line with our 40-60% lifetime UK content aim. This will see the project offer essential work to nurture domestic floating wind technology expertise as well as green skills development,” adds Copeland.

Located 7.5 km off the coast of Dounreay in Caithness, Pentland will generate 100 MW making it capable of providing clean energy to almost 70,000 homes, equivalent to 65% of those in the Highland Council area.